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Old Flames

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  844 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Burned again. Men never treated Dora well. This latest cheated on her and dumped her. The last decent guy she knew was her old high school boyfriend, Jim. He'd said that he loved her. Maybe he did. So with the help of Flame Finders, Dora's found him again. Turns out he's married with two kids. But Dora isn't about to let that stand in her way...

Includes the bonus novella
Mass Market Paperback, 289 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Leisure Books (first published May 25th 2008)
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Average rating 3.39  · 
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 ·  844 ratings  ·  100 reviews

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Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The first story, Old Flames, is probably a 3 star read for me. It started off really good. The woman was like able before she spiraled down into some crazy, psychotic person. There was a part that stood out for me, maybe it was a turning point to her downward fall but it was really well written. I was expecting a little more violence, but Ketchum kinda stayed on the tame side. The ending wasn't memorable and could have been better but that was ok because the other novella, Right To Life ...more
Edward Lorn
Feb 13, 2014 rated it liked it
This review is for OLD FLAMES, the first novella in a collection of two. I will be reviewing RIGHT TO LIFE, the second story, at a later date. Something about Jack Ketchum bothers the hell out of me. I have to take a long break between his books. If you've read anything by him, you probably know what I'm talking about.

Ketchum does crazy people well. He can make you empathize with the nuttiest of squirrel bait. In this story we follow a scorned woman on her quest to find an old flame of hers,
Rachel Bea
This short book was just okay. I liked parts of it. Some of the writing felt clunky and then other times I thought the writing was really good.
May 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
After reading Ketchum's gross fest masterpiece "Off Season" and its sequel "Offspring" I was always under the impression that his works were all about psychical terror, tearing out limbs and such, but this novel surprised me, it gave me a glimpse of his writer's mind and the way he toys with stories and ideas. I am not saying that icky things aren't happening here, they are but along a different story line, this time the evil people are seemingly average folks and not cannibals who live in ...more
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Love jack ketchum and this was a good story loved the ending but at times felt like he threw some stuff in their just to take up space.
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Old Flames: A terrific story of a lover scorned and how far an individual will go for "love." The plot is simple but done with an expert's touch. He's able to craft characters in this one that feel fleshed out despite only having known them for 100 pages or so. A twisted tale that I really enjoyed. It moved at a triphammer speed and Ketchum created a tension and atmosphere that led up to a jolting conclusion. Very well done.
Rating: 5/5

Right to Life: Whew! Man, what a fucked up story! Ketchum
Collin Henderson
Feb 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Old flames: this was a kind of strange, single white female esque story. Essentially a woman named Dora is fed up with how men are treating her and forces her way back into the life of her high school sweetheart. This ends in extremely dark fashion. The thing that surprised me is that I don't think Ketchum makes the reader fully understand Dora. He excels at making truly awful people feel three dimensional, but that was lacking here. Not bad but not great either.

Right to Life: the superior
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another great read by one of my favorites!
Konnie Jones
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book includes Right To Life along with Old Flames. Both solid stories. But I prefer Right To Life. It's a bit more horrifying, IMO.
Ben Rogers
It was ok
David Sodergren
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Amazingly disappointing book from one of the greatest horror writers, Old Flames is comprised of two novellas. The first is a fairly entertaining take on Fatal Attraction but with a damp squib of an ending, and the second is a thinly disguised rewrite of The Girl Next Door with all the heart and soul ripped out, leaving an empty and tedious torture porn spectacle of degrading sexual violence.
Melissa Helwig
Jun 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Both novellas feature strong female characters. One as an antagonist and one as a protagonist. Old Flames is about a recently dumped woman, Dora, who uses a service called Flame Finders to find her high school sweetheart. To her dismay, he is married and has children. But that won't stop Dora from staking her claim. It's Fatal Attraction for the 00's. With so many people now looking up old flames and friends via Facebook and MySpace readers can easily relate.

This novella moves quickly and had me
Gary Taylor
Feb 26, 2009 rated it liked it
This edition of "Old Flames" reminds me of the days when movie theaters offered double features because it actually contains two novellas by Jack Ketchum, who has been dubbed the "scariest man in America" by Stpehen King.

"Old Flames" is the title of the new, first novella in the duet but it is followed by a reprint of another Ketchum novella called "Right to Life."

If there is any common theme for the two books, it would turn on the presence of a strong female lead in both. "Right to Life" is a
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Okay, anyone who knows me knows I am a big fan of Ketchum's workThe Lost being one of my favorites. With this book, Ketchum delivers two captivating novellas, Old Flames and A Right to Life.

Old Flames is a story of obsession that ends tragically. The female lead, Dora, is a nut-job. It's obvious within the first few pages that she's a bit unhinged and it only gets worse from there. Moral of the storyif you run into an old flame, leave it in the past where it belongs!

The second story is A Right
Jan 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: finished-in-2011
First, a complaint. I am not usually hung up on grammar and punctuation errors. I make quite a few myself. But the editor of this book was asleep at the job. I think there were maybe 10 commas in the whole book. Better too many commas than too few. Consider the following:

An English teacher wrote these words on the whiteboard: woman without her man is nothing. The teacher then asked the students to punctuate the words correctly.
The men wrote: Woman, without her man, is nothing.
The women wrote:
Jan 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, e-book, dark, thriller
Another day, another Jack Ketchum novella. Or possibly novel. It's hard to tell. Ladies' Night is classified as a novel, at 175 pages, but this one is classified a novella, at 180. Maybe it's about word count. Or maybe it's about whatever the publisher wants to call it to justify a given price point.

In Old Flames, we meet Dora, a woman who has poor luck with men. After her current beau jilts her, she has a chance encounter with a friend of hers from high school, who not only reminds her of Jim,
Dec 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: my brother; gory horror lovers
Again, I have to question the choice of titles. This was the shorter of the two novellas/short stories in the book. Until I started reading I didn't see that there were two stories. I thought there was only one. Not that it matters. I read somewhere after that the first story was newly written and the last story was wriiten many years ago. I had never read either story so that was fine by me. I also read that there were quite a few comparisons with "Right to Life" and "The Girl Next Door." I ...more
William M.
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror

If you have ever dated someone who you felt was unstable, imagine that person a dozen times worse and bent on revenge, using every ounce of their energy to invade your life and destroy everything around you. This is the main character, Dora Welles, of Jack Ketchum's new novella, Old Flames. True, the book is quite short, but that doesn't take away from this chilling tale of one woman's quick decent into madness and revenge. Ketchum uses clean, beautiful prose with a stunningly
J. Kent Messum
Mar 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Let's get something out of the way first... Ketchum can write, there's no doubt about that. This book was a good read, two novellas for the price of one, but for me one of those novellas was far better than the other. 'Old Flames' is new take on an old faithful, and a refresher that made me fearful of a woman's scorn once again.

You get the impression that the second novella, 'Right To Life', was thrown in for good measure. It leaned greatly toward the torture porn side of things, a shock-value
Vicki Willis
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, z-2015
This was a good read! It had two shorter stories in it. The first one was Old Flames and was about a woman stalking her boyfriend from high school 20 years later. The second was was Right to Life and was about a pregnant woman trying to go to an abortion clinic who was abducted. Both were very fast paced and twisted. I would recommend to those who like disturbing things!
Jan 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
The reviews of this book were a far better read than the book.
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had this on my Goodreads list and forgot what it was about as I didn't read the back when I first started reading it. I had thought it was a mystery/thriller then thought it was a romance book of some kind and was very happy when it went back to the mystery/thriller which sort of caught me by surprise. It was getting really good when, BAM!, the story ended! WHAT!!??? I was disappointed but it was also a good but surprising way to end the book, kind of like hanging off a cliff.
The other
Nov 07, 2020 rated it liked it
A book comprised of two novellas, Old Flames and Right To Life. The second novella is definitely the superior story here. There's not much to like in the title story, Old Flames. It's an interesting premise that kind of fizzles out. It's seems to be a half-hearted attempt at a good story. None of the characters really evoke any kind of empathy from the reader. I think so much more could have been done with the story but it seems Mr. Ketchum grew tired of it himself. 2 stars.

The bonus novella,
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A couple of strong and brutal novellas. Old Flames hits the ground pretty quickly and rarely stops, often surprising in its turns of pace and incident. There is some subtlety and abbreviation in the storytelling which makes the ending, and interpreting it fully, a little too subtle; this could easily have been expanded out to full novel length (without lessening those tonal shifts) to get more into some of the protagonist's motivations and manoeuvrings, and build up that ending more solidly.

Dez Nemec
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Old Flames struck me on a very visceral level - we all have people left in our past that we loved (or at least thought we did at the time), but what if...? I loved Dora's character. She was the quintessential nutty ex, but worse. Much, much worse. We see enough of her motivations to make her plausible, but not too much that we get bogged down with her psychological issues. And boy, does she have a few of those. Some of her actions were no surprise, but others made me stop and think: "What a ...more
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Old Flames was the attraction, and I picked it up not even realizing a second novella was included. While the pacing was quick and engrossing, the unexpected brevity made the ending a bit anticlimactic (and maybe old hat). I bought it being shortly out of a relationship with a profoundly toxic woman, thinking it might be cathartic (and having loved The Girl Next Door). Dora definitely reminded me of the ex, which maybe added to the thrill of the read.
Based on reviews of Right To Life, I chose to
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is composed of 2 novellas. Old Flames and Right To Life. Old Flames is a decent read about a woman who tracks down a long lost lover. It's not particularly original or unexpected, but it plays out nicely. Not the typical Ketchum I was expecting. The second, Right To Life is...Ketchum. Actually, I found this to be a little over the top, even for me. I found it very disturbing. That's not to say it's not well done, but it's not my type of horror read. It's without a doubt, torture porn. ...more
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
4-4.5 stars.

These were exactly the kind of stories I was looking forward to binging on reading the entire day. Absolutely couldnt put this book down. I loved both stories.

I thought Dora was an interesting and yet relatable character in Old Flames. I loved the stalker aspects.

Right to Life was the better of the two, completely consuming me. As a fan of torture and holding someone captive, this story hit the spot. I think this is the Ketchum that Ive been wanting to read ever since The Girl Next
Joshua Thompson
Feb 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Easy read of two unrelated novellas. Good stories but nothing to write home about.
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Dallas William Mayr, better known by his pen name Jack Ketchum, was an American horror fiction author. He was the recipient of four Bram Stoker Awards and three further nominations. His novels included Off Season, Offspring, and Red, which were adapted to film. In 2011, Ketchum received the World Horror Convention Grand Master Award for outstanding contribution to the horror genre.

A onetime actor,

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